The reviews are in, folks, and it’s official: Justice League is a fun superhero romp, but it’s also a bit of a mess. While the film has almost universally been deemed a step up from the likes of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, it fails to clear the high bar set by the DCEU’s other 2017 release, Wonder Woman. Long story short, it’s not nearly as good as it should be.
Justice League looks to have found itself in an awkward middle ground between the other four DCEU films. Sporting a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 38 percent as of this writing, reviews are registering at every conceivable point on the spectrum. Critics’ reactions vary so wildly that actually reaching any true consensus is a difficult task. The positive reviews are glowing, and the negative ones are about as venomous as they come. Our Justice League review, for the record, definitely registers on the positive end.
An important note here: while we usually reserve these brutal review roundups for the unanimously awful cinematic releases, the intensely negative Justice League reactions that follow sort of forced our hand here. But to be clear, the following reviews do not represent the film’s critical consensus; they’re far more hateful than most. Henry Cavill’s CGI lip is just the tip of the iceberg, folks.
This must go down as the single stupidest, big-budget superhero motion picture ever unleashed upon an unsuspecting public by a major Hollywood studio. — Chicago Daily Herald
The film is, plainly stated, terrible, and I’m sorry that everyone wasted their time and money making it—and that people are being asked to waste their time and money seeing it. I hate to be so blunt, but it simply must be said this time … I know there’s another comic-book company doing this across town, and it seems to be working out well for them, but if you have no clear sense of how to build one of these franchises in a functional, let alone interesting, way, maybe stop until you do! … It’s rather staggering, how pretty much nothing in the film works, not the semi-reliable old stuff, and certainly not all the new junk they’ve crammed in. Justice League sweatily wants to be both an epic and a romp, but hasn’t the patience to truly be either. — Vanity Fair
But for whatever combination of reasons, the end result is a broken film, swimming in bad CGI and forgettable mayhem, that you can’t imagine any number of rewrites or reshoots could have saved. — Daily Telegraph (UK)
It is almost shocking how bad Justice League is. When your film makes the viewer long for the coherence and scope of 2015’s ill-fated “Fantastic Four,” it is a sure sign something has perilously gone wrong. — TheFilmFile.com
Justice League tips the balances back in the wrong direction. Although marginally better than Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, director Zack Snyder’s latest is still a profound mess of maudlin muscles, incoherent action and jaw-droppingly awful CGI. It is big, loud, awful to look at and oh-so-dumb … Justice League feels like a bunch of disconnected moments with no governing theory behind it other than the fact that this movie has to come at this time to introduce audiences to characters whose stand-alone movies have already been promised to shareholders. It’s not too late to re-think this whole thing and start over. Just keep Gadot around, please. — Associated Press
Years from now — or maybe even as you read this — filmmakers are going to use the DC Comics Extended Universe as a prime example of how not to build a movie franchise. — The Star-Democrat (Easton, Maryland)
A depressing reminder that Wonder Woman was an anomaly, not the new normal. Busy and boring and oppressively computer generated, Justice League screams we’re back to business as usual. — The Austin Chronicle
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